The work was done during HS’s visit to NCAR during summer 2006, which was made possible through a student fellowship of the Advanced Study Program. This work forms a part of the Ph.D. dissertation of HS. This research was partially funded by NOAA Grant “Impact of oceanic mesoscale variability on the coupled climate” (NA17EC1483). We gratefully acknowledge additional funding support from DOE (DE-FG02-04ER63857) and NOAA (NA17RJ1231 through ECPC). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of these agencies. (The TMI data can be obtained from Remote Sensing Systems online at http://www.ssmi.com.)
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